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Adolescents and adventure: How much is too much?
June 11th, 2010
02:12 PM ET

Adolescents and adventure: How much is too much?

The fact that Sutherland has been located is cause for celebration, but the concern and activity surrounding the search for a teenager allowed to sail alone across oceans brought this question to many people’s minds: Is this a good idea?

The answer: well, it depends
"Adolescents vary tremendously in regards to their judgment, maturity and the risks that they face in life," says Frederic Reamer, a professor of social work at Rhode Island College and a member of the National Association of Social Workers. "There are circumstances in parenting where virtually everyone would agree… and then there are circumstances like this where reasonable, thoughtful minds can differ tremendously," he says.

Abby Sunderland is not the first adolescent to embark on such a quest. And Reamer says children who complete these tasks can benefit from “a strong sense of accomplishment, competence and remarkable satisfaction,” and parents should not stifle their teen if they feel their child is mature and demonstrates good judgment.

In an interview with CNN shortly before her daughter set off on the around-the-world adventure, Sutherland’s mother, Marianne, did express concern over how her daughter would handle loneliness, but also said she felt Abby could handle the challenge. "The critics don't know Abby and what a good sailor she is. We know it's a risk, but also that with the right equipment and preparation, it's a very calculated risk”, she told CNN’s Anouk Lorie.

Others say hold on a minute
“I think its wonderful she wanted to take this on, but when you're responsible for helping a child to develop, you are gradually increasing the risk in their life,” says Jill Weber, a clinical psychologist in the Washington, D.C.,  area, and a member of the American Psychological Association. “In this case, it sounds a lot like allowing a toddler to walk himself to school.” Weber encourages parents to consider everything their children come to them with, but only within boundaries.

Dr. Suniya Luthar, a professor of psychology whose research at the Teachers College of Columbia University focuses on children of privilege, says the cultural context of American society often encourages parents to say “yes” to situations that could lead to harmful outcomes for their child. “There is this feeling that more is always better, and the more you can do and accomplish the better. But there needs to be limits,” she said in a phone conversation. “Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you necessarily should.”

Studies looking at the teenage brain show that adolescent brains are different from adults, and that certain areas impacting judgment may not be fully developed until they are in their twenties. Weber says the fact that the teenage brain is not developed, can put childredn at increased risk of being traumatized in dangerous situations. “If you're suddenly flooded by fear, that's when the frontal lobe needs to kick in, but for adolescents, it may not.”

A spokesperson from US Sail, the national governing body of sailing, says there are no age limits on an when a person is too young or too old to sail, but the most important thing is to be aware of safety requirements . "We’re happy that Abby is safe, and the fact that she was able to maintain herself in these conditions demonstrates she had a firm grasp of the guidelines."

In comments to CNN before her departure, Sutherland demonstrated a keen awareness of the challenges she could face.

“I know there is a possibility I could die. People die at sea all the time,” she admitted in the interview, adding “It's kind of terrifying to think about. But it is those thoughts that will keep me safe as they'll make me very careful.”


soundoff (277 Responses)
  1. CK

    I'm not impressed with her adventure. Unless if she made it back with or without her boat and not calling any help. I'd say it's more interesting and brave if she'll do it next time without notifying the media until she makes it back.

    June 11, 2010 at 19:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Bill L.

    As a clinical psychologist I have seen parents prosecuted for less neglect and abuse than this CHILD was subjected to. If California Child Protective Services is doing their job there will be an investigation and the evidence against the parents is well documented.

    June 11, 2010 at 19:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. bluegreengirl9

    In my humble opinion, for parents to allow their 16-year-old daughter to sail around the world by herself is totally careless and irresponsible. She is still a child, after all. She is vulnerable to so many dangers at sea, regardless of how good a sailor she is – it is unthinkable to me that her parents would allow her to do this. Her parents ought to have their heads examined.

    June 11, 2010 at 19:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Scott

    Abby's parents are in the best position to determine her maturity and abilities, not a Social Service agency. By all accounts she is an accomplished sailor, capable and mature for her age. Abby and her parents determined that she was ready to tackle this challenge. She is not the first teenager to tackle the open seas. Robin Lee Graham circumnavigated in the late nineteen sixties. He left on his voyage at 16. He did not have any of today's modern safety items like, GPS, satellite radio, emergency beacons, etc. He navigated by sextant. Other teens have circumnavigated the globe and/or made long passages; others climb, ski, play sports and take risks. My son was a downhill ski racer. I was always concerned with his safety. That said, I would rather he take risks and face adversity than avoid all risk, missing the rewards of overcoming adversity.

    June 11, 2010 at 19:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Olivia Merriam

    Child Protective Services should take the kids away and the parents should go to jail. They are media-hungry, greedy, worthless parents. This is very upsetting to me.

    June 11, 2010 at 19:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. MoeSyszlak

    Sure, sending 16-year-old girls into international waters, alone, in fancy expensive boats is a GREAT idea. Similarly good ideas:

    * Eating paint chips
    * Spitting on cops
    * Climbing into a tiger's cage and smacking it with a stick
    * Shocking one's genitalia with a Taser
    * Punching a bull
    * You get the picture, it's pretty damn dumb

    June 11, 2010 at 19:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Keeg

    Plain and simple. If someone can go to prison, they are old enough to sail around the world on their own. We are sending people as young as 12 to prison as adults. That is the thing that is sick.

    If you want to treat a 16 year old as a kid, and not let them make their own decisions, then ZERO 16 year old, or younger, should ever be tried as adults (no matter how heinous their crime is).

    June 11, 2010 at 19:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. MoorheadShooter

    For those of you who think that this trip is "absurd" and the parents should never have let their child embark on a trip like this, let me ask you guys something?

    Would you keep your kids out of contact sports? Out of boy scouts? Out of anything with any hint of danger?

    STOP BABYING YOUR KIDS! You know why there are so few heroes and great people in the world today? It's because parents are raising their kids to play it totally safe and not take ANY risk.

    Its no longer about getting back on the horse after you get thrown off, its about not getting on the horse at all. Its pathetic.

    She knew she could die on this trip. And if, God forbid, that were to happen, at least she'd die doing what she loved.

    My hat's off to Abby and her parents.

    June 11, 2010 at 20:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Chris

    She may well be a mature, experienced sailor, but the sea is unforgiving and unpredictable...and there is no dress rehearsal for the multitude of things that can go wrong in a split second. The fact is, they ignored known dangers for the sake of beating a world record...and she got lucky. To me, that's where the irresponsibility lies.

    I would never discourage my own children from pursuing their dreams, but this is over the top. Yes, it's true in past eras, young children went to sea, and even to war. But they also worked in textile mills and farms 14 hours a day and. It's misleading to confuse enlightened views of child-rearing with holding children back, or coddling them.

    June 11, 2010 at 20:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Boscobear

    If we were trying to settle the west today we wouldn't go anywhere cuz it's too dangerous, someone might get hurt, yada, yada, yada and more yada. For heaven's sake, of course it's danderous, that's why it's called adventure.

    June 11, 2010 at 20:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Sharon Morgan

    I'm sorry but i dont believe no matter how prepared a boat or child is that allowing them to do this sort of thing is right and untill a child reaches the age of 18 they are still just that a child.. IT IS A PARENTS RESPONSIBILITY TO LOOK AFTER AND PROTECT A CHILD THEY BRING INTO THE WORLD... my prayers are with you Abby for your safe return.

    June 11, 2010 at 20:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. michelle

    Most teenagers can't be trusted with the family car because their parents never made them take responsibility for their actions and gave them everything they wanted without making them work for it. I had friends through highschool get caught skipping school, taking drugs, etc. and all they got was a "Don't do it again." All they learned was not to get caught the next time. I knew if I ever did any of that, I would lose tv, internet, and my next few weekends.
    I also started babysitting in grade 7 after school everyday. Worked at a restaurant grades 8 – 11, and a grocery store in grade 12. Staying on the honor roll the entire time. At the age of 21 I was promoted to a middle management position after working for a new company just over a year. When I turned 16, I was allowed to use the family car whenever I wanted as long as the tank was full when I brought it back.
    And those friends who got the "Don't do it again" are all sitting around whining that no one will give them a job or they got fired again because the boss apparently "Doesn't like them" or is a hard-a$$.
    I think Abby has a great future ahead of her, and her parents sound like wonderful people for supporting her so strongly. Go Abby!! I'll be watching your progress and supporting you the entire way!!

    June 11, 2010 at 20:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Katie

    Go Abby!! You're awesome and very inspiring. Most 16 year olds won't get up off of the video games or computers long enough to enjoy life. 16 or 56 ..you handled yourself well! 🙂

    June 11, 2010 at 20:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Rich

    Having followed her exploits thus fat, it seems to me that Abby was fully prepared for this adventure. I believe her age is not relevant since the question is not "Is a 16 ready for such an adventure?" but "Is _this_ 16 year ready?" Abby clearly is and as a sailor she is not a "kid".

    June 11, 2010 at 20:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Tina Pesce

    This is crazy. These parent have put their child at risk. DCF should be called. And, who is paying for the rescue now that she has failed? Hopefully, her parents. Clearly, the route she took was a big mistake. This was probably calculated. Who would map a route for their child taking them 500 miles north of Antarctica in the winter? If they waited, she probably would have been too late to set a record. To risk their child's life for publicity for themselves is disgusting. These parents should be in jail.

    June 11, 2010 at 20:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. judy hernandez

    I have always taught my children that if you truly want something than you need to go get it. yes i could afford to give it to them,but what would they really learn from that.
    Many of our young kids today are so caught up in name brands and the expectation that parents can afford it.. so why should i work for it.. CRASHES, DRUGS, NO EDUCATION, DRUNK DRIVING. MURDER ,....STILL EXPECTING PARENTS TO GET THEM OUT OF IT....... AND MANY PARENTS WILL HELP THEM GET OUT OF IT.. then ask what where you thinking? how could you do this? you have embaressed us..and wonder how there child could really be caught up in any of these things. Mmmmm????
    a parent .. if they believe that they have truly EDUCATED

    June 11, 2010 at 20:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. dadof4

    The young person is intelligent and capable. The danger was known. The parents are supportive and took all reasonable precautions. It will end up being a costly experience for them, but I hope she tries again, soon. Many spring break "adventures" offer a less reassuring combination of personal responsability and parental guidance.

    June 11, 2010 at 20:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Vickster

    As a society and as individuals, we did not get where we are today by playing it safe. It is risk and ambition to accomplish that which does not seem attainable has always been the human desire. For all the "what ifs" about the danger she faced, think what this girl accomplished. She has obviously shown maturity and skill beyond her years. While parents should guide their children and set reasonable limits, if your child and she's not really a child, more like a young adult, demonstrates skill and ambition and has proven themselves through hard work, why would you want to say "sorry about that dream, I won't let you"

    June 11, 2010 at 21:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. hemingdale

    When I was fourteen my parents allowed me to work at a nearby airport and earn flying time. I often flew as a "sandbag," sitting behind a pilot who was practicing aerobatics. When I was sixteen, I was flying planes solo. I wasn't ambitious or interested enough to try and set any world records, but my parents would have approved had I wanted to. I applaud Abby and her folks. Down with nanny-statism. That just breeds thirty year old infants.

    June 11, 2010 at 21:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Kerry Berger

    The young lady is a very competent and skilled sailor. She can do what very few of us can. Bless her parents for encouraging her to live her dreams and challenge her fears. I'm sure she is far more mature than most teenagers her age. Same goes for her brother. That her parents can afford to support their children's interest in sailing is commendable. This is hardly an issue for Children Services. Too many kids today grow up passive and incapable of taking calculated risks. That's a shame.

    June 11, 2010 at 21:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. john

    I not sure why CPS should be called after all buy hanna monatna stuff and Miley cyrus stuff and she is out sexing it up on stage and she is 16 or 17.. and we don't lock up my Billy ray

    June 11, 2010 at 21:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. crazy_kanaka

    I really could care less if Abby had accomplished her solo voyage around the world, because there are many other kids out there that deserve accolades for unselfishly doing good things to make a difference in other peoples lives. And now she's stranded in the Indian Ocean and has needlessly put other peoples lives in danger to go and rescue her, for what? Fame? Fortune? Who knows, but all I can say is that she and her parents need a reality check, because there are more worth while things in this world to be known for then being the youngest person to sail around the world.

    June 11, 2010 at 21:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. mark

    I agree helicopter parents can be smothering and teenagers should be encouraged to dream big, but there are common-sense limits to following through. Older "expert" sailors have disappeared without trace attempting similar feats; would these same parents allow their 16-year-old daughter to hike alone through the mountains from California to Deadhorse, Alaska? If she pulls it off, great; but if she gets killed or disappears will it have been worth it? If you willingly allow your child to be placed in a dangerous situation then you shouldn't be surprised when you are held liable for the rescue. Are those "progressive" parents willing to foot that bill?

    June 11, 2010 at 21:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. bb

    Funny how none of you "OMG call CPS!" people made such a stink when Zac Sunderland, her older brother, did the same thing at 17. Gee, is it because all of a sudden it's a "helpless little girl", instead of a "courageous young man"?

    Coddling and overprotecting teens makes them dependent and worthless. And taking the helicopter parenting to even more of an extreme just because a child is female is the height of misogyny!

    June 11, 2010 at 21:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Leigh Ann

    I believe at 16 she is a skilled sailor like her parents claim but why does she have to be on the boat alone? And if she gets rescued who knows what kind of treatment she will recieve,there are some dangerous people out there,I would not be worried about her skill ,but more so about the people she may encouter while being alone.

    June 11, 2010 at 22:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. she

    Ok, I was 16 once too. If my parents had allowed me to act on every idea I came up with...well I probably wouldn't be here today to talk about it.
    Point is: 16 year olds believe they have been around the block and know when they are 'in love' ; ready to leave school and go to work, get married, have kids etc, etc.

    BS. There are not many 35, 40, 50, 60+ year olds who would tell you today that they really understood life, love and death at 16. No freaking way.

    Alone, on the high seas? Incredibly dangerous for all the obvious reasons; incredibly unnecessary risk to her, for all the obvious reasons.

    This has nothing to do with emotional, academic or physical capability and maturity, and has everything to do with bad judgement, permissiveness, immature parents, and an adventure that could have turned out so horribly wrong under all the right circumstances.

    After age 18, if your child still has the desire to go do something you have not allowed, there's not a lot you can do to stop them, but you surely can prevent it up until that point.

    Youngest to do this thing, and that thing...would the parents be so proud if she was youngest to die at sea in a ridiculous bid to be youngest to sail alone? Would that have made her some kind of hero, or made them some kind of innocent victims? Geez....parents, don't try to live vicariously through your children. Be a parent and do everything you can to see that your children make it to adulthood.

    That is when and where they have all the opportunity in the world to do and be what they really want.

    June 11, 2010 at 22:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Susan Conti

    I think that there must be more progressively responsible trips the parents should have had her participate in first – 'baby steps'. First a trip 1/2 way around the world maybe. Just because there is a record to break – doesn't make the decision smart. Everyone knows adolescents don't have a true understanding of something that has the true risk of "death" and she won't truly understand that for several more years. Yes she is talented – yes her parents gave her the most expensive tools and equipment a person could need – but "NOTHING" replaces experience in a situation like this. It is luck and good fortune that her brother happened to make it in one piece – lucky the weather, the seas cooperated. I am all for instilling confidence in kids by supporting their desires – but it's our job as parents to know when to say 'no'.

    June 11, 2010 at 22:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. DeathSpiral

    H*ll no, this wasn't a good idea.

    It is basic, common sense.

    June 11, 2010 at 22:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Tomboy

    U GO GIRL!!!!!! For all of u ppl how are saying that she's to young and she shouldn't be doing that, shut up while u still have some dignity left. Are u telling me that if someone wants to the pursue an dream, ur gonna tell them no?!?! Are u kidding me!!! And leave the parents alone!!!! It was abbys decison!!!! If sh want to follow her dream, let her!!!!!!!

    June 11, 2010 at 22:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Bilbo

    There is no way to spin this. Bad Parenting decision. Irresponsible. Children do not get to do everything they want to. It is a parents role to set limits, establish boundaries and to develop children to adult state where they have the right to make good or bad decisions. Having the courage to say no to a child making a decision which puts them at risk is more admirable than giving in to every whim. This young lady would get the same since of satisfaction in completing this endeavor when she is an adult. There is a time and place for everything. I totally disgree with the pyschologist who says reasonable minds can differ. That is blatant rationalization. When I read this story sometime ago I could not believe that parents would actually allow a 16 year old to do this. Sadly I was wrong.

    June 11, 2010 at 22:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Arleen

    As parents, educators, and sailors ourselves, we totally agree with Mike's comments: he said it best!

    June 11, 2010 at 22:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Paul

    I don't know Abbey or her parents, didn't even know about this adventure until the news flash of the crisis. So I don't know if Abbey was striving to be the youngest person to sail solo around the world or if maybe she was ready to do it and just happened to be the youngest. From what I have heard and seen over the past couple of days I wouldn't classify this as a "stunt" such as the Jessica Dubroff incident. Abbey was certainly competent and certainly aptly equipped. Aside from that it's really not anybody's business – she had her parents permission and support.

    I hope she gets her mast repaired and completes her journey.

    Go Abbey!!

    June 11, 2010 at 22:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. John Samsock

    I think what she is doing is awesome, and she is lucky to have the opportunity to do what she is doing. I dont think it is that crazy, she is professionally trained, sailing a well equipped boat with proper emergency equipment, and a team of people watching over her. I figure it could be a worse situation.

    June 11, 2010 at 22:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Mark

    bothteamsplayedhard – to answer your question regarding the bill.

    The Australian tax payer would foot the bill for the SES, Maritime Officials and Australian Navy on its way to the area.

    Family and friends in Australia chartered a Qantas Airbus so I gahter they will foot that bill.

    We have rescued countless of boating enthusiasts that get trouble in our waters and close to. Whether they be teenages or grown men. We in fact rescued the one person twice in different situations (Tony Bullimore). It's just part and parcel of being a responsible civilised western nation.

    June 11, 2010 at 23:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. lostisland

    You go girl. Kids are capable, I'd rather see them face the world than a video game or text message binge. Sail to hawaii and we'll throw a nice party on the beach for ya.

    June 11, 2010 at 23:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Dana

    I tried to write something, but I think crazy_kanaka June 11th, 2010 21:36 ET said it best.

    I hope Abby stays safe until her rescuers come and my message to her is simple, "Stay on dry land, and try serving others instead of seeking fame. If you do this, you will be rewarded."

    June 11, 2010 at 23:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. lostisland

    @Bill L.

    "As a clinical psychologist I have seen parents prosecuted for less neglect and abuse than this CHILD was subjected to. If California Child Protective Services is doing their job there will be an investigation and the evidence against the parents is well documented."

    Total Horse Puckey

    June 11, 2010 at 23:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. CJ4G

    Hats off to these parents.... America needs more families like this!

    June 12, 2010 at 00:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. GMM

    My 20 yr old daughter has always shown a maturity beyond her years at every milestone of her life. But there were times when I would not allow her certain "experiences" bc there were dangers that at her age she could not yet comprehend. In other words, it was my job to keep her safe & away from situations that she could not yet handle.

    June 12, 2010 at 00:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. YDon'tUGetAClue

    Just have to say...there is a HUGE difference between being a helicopter parent and coddling your kid and letting them do something like this. AND...just b/c my teen isn't sailing the world does not mean he is doing drugs, having sex and sitting on his butt playing video games. There's a HUGE gray area between the two and plenty of stimulation to be had that isn't so extreme.

    I am not suggesting that we put our kids in bubbles – but for the love of God, we need to use our heads, people. Yes, we all die sometime...and as an adult I HAVE CHOSEN (and not for fame nor fortune) to bungee jump, skydive, ride motorcycles and take part in white water rafting. But had I asked to do ANY of it at 16 my parents would have said, "You have plenty of time to make those choices when you're an adult." It would NOT have been a, "Go ask your dad" question.

    I totally get the argument that you can die doing anything from standing in line at Boston Market waiting for your lunch to sailing around the world. I think it's insane that you feel your kid is so under stimulated at 16 that you feel the need to allow them to take on such an adventure. As for the rescue cost, I hear Australia is picking up the tab on that. And the tax payers there are less than thrilled about paying the tab for this stimulating adventure.

    June 12, 2010 at 00:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Melissa

    This girl is a child. I really don't care what the stupid parents think.No responsible parent would EVER allow their 16 year old CHILD to sail around the world alone. These parents should be arrested for child neglect.

    June 12, 2010 at 00:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. stan

    mike,
    what a load of horse hockey!
    if she was exhibiting good judgement she wouldnt have started the trip so late in the season and get stuck in extreem south latitudes when iceburgs and heavy winter storms become a problem. the push for setting a record made her throw caution to the wind and leave when she did, instead of waiting it out till the enxt year when she would ahve been better prepaired.

    June 12, 2010 at 00:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Storm Winter

    I lived aboard a boat in Santa Barbara as a teen, it is a great experience, I explored the channel islands and learned a lot about life, and about how the world does not revolve around me.

    June 12, 2010 at 01:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. bob

    She went on an adventure. The rest of our brilliant teenagers thinks and adventure is sitting around starbucks texting. Get them off there rear ends and let them do something challanging.
    If all the adventurers sat on there backsides where would we be . (Magellan, Columbus, Drake, Aldrin etc)

    June 12, 2010 at 01:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Sailor Bob

    Frontal lobe or not, the parents were irresponsible and hoping for notoriety and glory. The world can be a crazy place but the oceans can be unforgiving. I read that the family was going to sell their story to the Today show. You know the scientific term we call this type of parenting; CHILD NEGLECT and ABUSE! Dumb asses. Hope the parents have to pay for the cost of rescue.

    June 12, 2010 at 01:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. xxception

    It's a well documented fact that the brains of teens are less than full developed when it comes to the areas of risk taking and consequences to actions. Why would these facts not apply simply because she is an excellent sailor?

    June 12, 2010 at 01:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Goldfinger

    There is an old saying that applies to a lot of things like ocean sailing, that goes something like " a superior sailor uses their superior judgement to avoid situations requiring their superior skills" That is what seamanship is about, and anybody at any age in the southern ocean in winter, is likely missing either the judgement or the skills to make that work out.

    She's lucky to be alive, and that's great. But the bad judgement to be there at all at this time of year could put others at risk, and that also violates everything that is good seamanship. Just knowing how to sail is only a small part of making ocean passages. A person can learn to sail in an afternoon, but learning how to cross an ocean safely and not put undue risk on others takes some experience and judgement. I'm not saying a 15 year old can't do it, but at least one of these basics wasn't present.

    Those of us who do ocean passages also assume that if we lose the rig, we should be prepared to construct a jury rig to sail ourselves to a port without help, if at all possible. Could a 15 year old girl do that? I don't know but doesn't seem too likely. If you can't be self sufficient, then you're going to cause a big effort to save you soneer or later.

    June 12, 2010 at 02:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Carmela

    If someone asked me if I would let my daughter go on a solo sailing trip like Abby, I would say, "No way!", I don't care how mature or experienced she is, but I would have no problem if she was accompanied by an experienced adult/s, because if something happened to her, I wouldn't be able to live with the thought that I allowed her to be in such a dangerous situation.

    June 12, 2010 at 02:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Mike in Maine

    This is ridiculous... Here, is a young lady with an opportunity to do while young, what most will never do.

    People sound as if she was set adrift on a $200 used skiff. Now, if you don't know what a skiff is, then you really have no business even commenting.

    This young woman is on a state of the art, YACHT with every conceivable safety/communication/navigation gear one can imagine. This isn't a "boat", it's a state of the art sailing sloop, purpose built for just such journeys.

    I suppose we'd rather she was back home, drinking, smoking pot, and getting knocked-up. What a bunch...

    I hope she gets the "boat" fixed and continues on!

    Regards,
    Mike

    June 12, 2010 at 02:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. likki

    Its great that this genius is safe. Firstly whats the point in sailing alone and achieve what: headlines around the world. Do something thats useful to others, not encourage others to do these risky stuff. The MONEY and effort lost in finding this moron is almost equal to a families life in an unprivileged country. GROW UP DUMB-ASS.

    June 12, 2010 at 03:10 | Report abuse | Reply
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